Lasse Hallström and his wife, the actress, Lena Olin, presented The Hypnotist in the Official Section yesterday. The director said that he’d accepted the project because it gave him the chance to work once again in Stockholm, his home town, after several decades in the USA, where he never got offered thrillers. He also confessed that another reason for making the film was because he was often accused of being soft-hearted and sentimental; something he doesn’t think is true. Lena Olin also said that it had been great to be back in Sweden as it was important to be able to act again in her mother tongue.
The director explained that he hired Mikel Persbrandt for the leading role because he wanted to take advantage of the chemistry he had created with Leno Olin when they worked together in Bang Bang Orangutan, and that he had wanted to make a different kind of thriller that mixed genres and didn’t sacrifice character for the storyline as often happened in Hollywood: “American thrillers speak with a louder voice.” Asked about the boom in Scandinavian crime films, he said he hadn’t really followed it; all he had wanted to do was to try and do something different in the genre. He also revealed that he hoped to go back and work in Sweden again after this but that he had no precise plans for the future.